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Welcome to the P aum Gospel Weeklies Faith Formation Program:What the Church Believes and Teaches e sacred duty and the joy of each succeeding generation of Christian believers has been to hand on the deposit of faith that was  rst entrusted to the apostles by Christ himself.We have received this gift, the deposit of faith—we have not conceived it. It is the heritage of the whole Church. It is our privilege and our responsibility to preserve the memory of Christ’s words and the words themselves and to teach future generations of believers to carry out all that Christ com- manded his apostles.National Directory for Catechesis, #26over thirty- ve years, the P aum Gospel Weeklies have provided schools and parish religion programs with a basic catechesis on the Sunday Gospels.  is widely acclaimed program o ers the  nest in up-to-the-minute catechetical re ections, exercises, and activities based on the words of Jesus Christ and on his Gospel as celebrated weekly in the Sunday assembly.  e P aum Gospel Weeklies have formed several generations of young people and helped bring faith to their lives and bring their lives to the Catholic faith. e basic teachings of the Catholic faith are seeded generously throughout each level of the P aum Gospel Weeklies.  ese basic teachings are documented in an annual Scope and Sequence. Nonetheless, because of the very nature of a liturgically-based resource, the basic teachings do not occur in exactly the same way each year in the 32 issues of each level of the P aum Gospel Weeklies. erefore, P aum Publishing Group has undertaken to make part of each year’s subscription to the P aum Gospel Weeklies a stu- dent’s handbook of those elements of the Catechism of the Catholic Church that have been judged necessary and appropriate for the age group served by each level. What the Church Believes and Teaches is an integral component of the P aum Gospel Weeklies. At the beginning of each year—with the  rst shipment of the P aum Gospel Weeklies—every child will receive his or her own book of basic Church teachings.  e content for this book is based on protocols established for the teachings to be learned and mastered at each level of elementary-age catechesis.  is handbook gathers under one cover the Church teachings presented in the 32 issues of the P aum Gospel Weeklies.  is Teaching Companion provides you ways to help children master these teachings. In addition, the guide that accompanies each issue of the P aum Gospel Weeklies will point you to the handbook and to those teachings that are re ected in that issue. What the Church Believes and Teaches, together with the P aum Gospel Weeklies, can also be of great help to parents who want to take an active role in the faith formation of their children. e handbook provides, in one convenient publication, all the teachings that must be mastered.  e weekly issues provide the stories, exercises, activities, re ections, prayers, and challenges that show how a faithful Catholic can live out these teachings, celebrate them in the liturgy, and share them at home, at school, and with friends.Learning by HeartMuch of what you  nd in What the Church Believes and Teaches can be learned by heart. From earliest times, catechesis has used the formulations of the Creed, the sacraments, the Commandments, and prayers (especially the Lord’s Prayer) to transmit the faith. e handbook a ords you the opportunity to help your students learn by heart the principal expressions of the faith, basic prayers, key biblical themes, personalities, and language. Such learning is not mere rote. Memorization is an e ective form of catechesis that nourishes the human heart and helps form the human spirit in Christ.ConclusionIt is our hope that this exciting addition to the wondrous experience of the P aum Gospel Weeklies will assist you in your ministry. It is our prayer that What the Church Believes and Teaches will give you the added assurance that you are indeed cultivating in your stu- dents the good soil in which the seed of the Catholic faith can take root and bring forth a lifetime of good fruit.Tips for Teaching Young CatholicsKnow your audience!  at’s good advice for many professionals, but certainly for catechists and teachers. Here are some things to keep in mind about the second and third graders who are your audience.• GoodNewskidsareenthusiastichelpers,andtheylovetoplease. Ask for a volunteer to take something to the o ce, for example, and many hands will go up.  at makes this a good time to involve them in service projects, such as straightening up the hymnals in the church pews after Mass or carrying donated food to the food pantry.•  eyarebecomingmoreawareoftheneedsofothers. ey are willing to help another child who drops something or can’t  nd something.  ey can be sensitive to children with special needs.  is is not to say that they are always kind. But they are developing the capacity to understand what another child is experiencing.• Childrenofthisagearestilleasilydistracted. eactionsofone child can disrupt the whole group.  eir attention span is getting longer, however.  ey can stick with a task or activity for twenty to thirty minutes. Have a change of pace ready to implement if you see that you are losing them sooner. You can always come back to the original activity later.•  ese children are also social. Most of them love to share sto- ries—what happened at home, what they are going to do for their birthday. Give them many opportunities to share. For example,if you are studying the Fourth Commandment, begin by letting everyone take turns telling about their families. If you have chil- dren in your group who are shy about sharing, try breaking the ice by asking them a couple of leading questions, or let them pass.•  eywantthingstobefair. eyfollowtherulesandthinkevery- one should have the same rules.  is can lead to tattling, more so in second than in third grade. Acknowledge their concern without recrimination, but don’t encourage the “telling on oth- ers” to continue. Make classroom rules clear and be consistent in following and applying them.5

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